The Ultimate Guide To Drone Filmmaking

The Various Phases of Manufacturing

Regardless of whether you’re shooting a small independent film, or a high-budget Hollywood hit, the procedure of creating a movie can be broken down right into 3 unique phases. I have actually listed these 3 stages listed below as well as will certainly explain what each one involves.

Pre-Production– This is basically the drawing board, where you obtain every facet of the movie prepared to shoot.

Production– This is the shooting stage of production, where you’re out videotaping the footage for your movie.

Post-Production– The 3rd and also last of manufacturing, where you put the footage together, add the complements as well as obtain the film prepared to be shown.

Pre Production

I’m going to be straightforward, I’m not one of the most ordered individual worldwide. For me, the pre-production phase is the most difficult, as I aspire to get out there and start shooting some incredible things.

Sadly, the reality is, the pre-production phase can either make of break your movie. Follow the steps that I mention below, and you’ll have yourself a nice and ordered shoot.

Select Your Films Story/ Message

It’s always an excellent suggestion to have some type of tale behind your movie. Whether the story is of a location, occasion or following a story, depends on you.

Area Scouting

Discover some locations that you assume will certainly be a great match for your movie. It’s best if you can go there in person and also take some pictures, which you could even perform with your drone. By doing this, you understand precisely what the area resembles and also will certainly be able to produce a much more customized shot checklist.

If you’re not able to actually make it to your location in person, you can constantly use the helpful power of Google Maps. You can establish the map to a ‘satellite’ view, which will certainly show you a real image of the location and also allow you to get to grips with the lay of the land.

Make A Shot Listing

It’s a great concept to plan out specifically what shots you’re mosting likely to be recording on shoot day.

Obviously, enable yourself a long time to extent out some new angles that you might not have actually thought about, yet it’s best to have a rather solid concept of what you’re mosting likely to be filming.

By having a shot checklist you’ll know clearly what you’re mosting likely to be shooting, enabling you to go from shot to shot, with marginal time lost.


Depending upon where you’re planning on flying your drone, you may need to obtain authorization initially. The last thing you intend to take place is to have to quit capturing and probably get on the receiving end of a quite nasty penalty.

Do You Have the Right Drone?

The top quality of video footage you have the ability to videotape will certainly depend greatly on the quality of drone you have. If you have not got a drone yet, this purchasers overview will stroll you with what you require to recognize.

When wanting to acquire a drone for airborne cinematography, make certain the drones’ video camera is attached by a gimbal stabiliser. This is extremely crucial as it will certainly maintain the camera consistent when you’re in the air, which consequently will certainly make your footage look even more steady as well as professional.


Tips for Shooting Premium Quality Aerial Video Footage

Utilise 2-Axis of Motion

In high spending plan Hollywood movies, you’ll discover that their aerial shots tend to incorporate 2-axis of motion. When shooting your aerial film, attempt as well as simulate this method, which can be done by turning the cam whilst the drone is relocating. This will certainly create more activity in your shot and look extremely expert.

Golden Hour– What is it & Just How Can You Utilize It?

The gold hour is the first hr after sunrise and also the last hr prior to sunlight set. Throughout this moment duration, the sunlight produces a normally orange as well as red color that looks fantastic when photographed.

By firing in this period, you make your video footage look more visually fascinating and appealing, without having to do anything various.

Fire in the Right Weather Issues

Nowadays a drones tend ahead with premium quality gimbal stabilisers that do a terrific task at keeping the video camera stable. That being claimed, they’re not ideal. If the winds are too expensive the drone may get blown about, which can lead to your video footage looking jolty as well as amateur.

This consequently can not just spoil your shot, however your whole day capturing. A couple of days prior to you fire, start to keep an eye on the weather conditions. If you have actually obtained a feeling that the problems aren’t going to be excellent, then probably hold off the shoot.

Along with this, if you’re firing on a grey and also over cast day, this is mosting likely to have an impact on the general feeling of your film. Try as well as shoot when the conditions are intense, specifically if you’re focusing your film on a specific place, as you want it to look as great as possible.

Have the Right Camera Settings

This might sound apparent, yet it’s very easy to remove and start flying without making the effort to readjust your cam setups. Try and constantly shoot with the lowest ISO possible, as the higher it is, the grainier your video footage will certainly look.

In a similar way, if you’re wanting to shoot some slow motion shots, ensure you set your drones video camera to videotape at a greater structure rate. This set’s constantly easy to neglect, so have it consisted of in your pre-flight checklist.

Utilize the Regulation of Thirds

The rule of thirds is a frequently used guideline for both digital photographers as well as filmmakers. The keynote behind the regulation is to damage the picture down right into thirds.

You should be able to set your display to ‘grid mode’ which will certainly section your display right into 9 components, with 2 lines going up and down and also two lines going horizontally.

You place the subject of your shot either on one of these lines, or where 2 of these lines intersect each other. The reason behind this policy is that our eyes naturally fall onto these lines as well as intersections, so if the topic is placed there, we discover it a lot more aesthetically appealing. For anymore information on the policy of thirds, you can read this in-depth write-up.

Naturally, you do not always have to stick to this rule as well as after all, rules are made to be damaged. Wes Anderson as an example, is famous for damaging this rule, instead deciding to utilize symmetry over the rule of thirds.

5 Drone Picture to Master

Birds Eye

This set’s pretty self explanatory as well as is one of the easiest shots to pull off. Just turn your electronic camera completely down, so it is directly pointing down towards the ground. You then have a variety of choices in regards to activity with a bird’s eyeshot.

You can either track the subject if it’s relocating, maintain the drone entirely still or you can increase the elevation of the drone.

I personally like to have some form of movement in the shot, however it’s completely as much as you.


There’s a variety of ways you can do a ‘expose’ type shot. You can fly your drone backwards over the topic of your shot until it comes into framework.

Or, you can make use of the motion of your drones’ gimbal to expose the emphasis of your shot. Either way, make certain what ever before you’re revealing is interesting as well as worth a ‘reveal’ shot.

Flying Backwards

This is a basic, yet effective shot that all drone pilots need to use. It’s worth mentioning that whenever you’re filming with a drone, attempt and also always fly backwards. This is because when you fly forwards, you can occasionally get the front props in the frame, destroying the whole impact of the shot.

In a similar way, it likewise assists to stop prop shadows from being picked up by the video camera.


A lot of drones nowadays feature an array of intelligent trip modes, with among one of the most common modes being orbit/ sight.

This is when your drone circles an object, whilst keeping that item in the centre of the structure. I personally enjoy this shot as it looks very cinematic and is extremely simple to carry out, specifically if you have actually obtained some smart trip settings.

Tracking Shot

Whether you’re filming on a drone or making use of a hand held cam, tracking shots have long been a best shot for filmmakers.

This is simply where you adhere to the subject of your shot, normally from behind. That being claimed, you can experiment with different angles up until you find one you specifically such as.

If you wish to track on your own with a drone, a number of UAVs have a ‘follow me operate’. I like using this as it indicates I reach remain in a few of my shots, which is pretty unusual as I’m typically focusing on piloting the drone.

Message Production

Editing and enhancing Software program

In order to put your spectacular drone footage together, you’re going to need some kind of modifying software program. I would not suggest using complimentary software application such as Windows Movie Maker and also iMovie, as although they permit you to place one shot alongside an additional, they’re quite limited.

I’ve listed here some instances of modifying software application that are ideal for modifying a drone movie. I myself am an enormous fan of Adobe Premier Pro and also very recommend it. If you’ve ever before made use of any other Adobe software program like Photoshop or Illustrator, you’ll be able to grab Premier Pro in no time at all in any way.

Adobe Premier Pro– My modifying software program of choice.

Last Cut Pro– Terrific for Apple Mac followers.

Sony Vegas– I’ve never personally utilized this, but I have actually spoken with a variety of reliable sources that it’s great.

Devoted Media Composer– Pretty much the industry typical editing software program.

Screen shot from Adobe Premier Pro

Colour Modification

A terrific method to take your video to the following degree is to make use of colour adjustment. This is when, using your modifying software application, you adjust the colours of your video footage.

When doing this, attempt as well as preserve a similar colouring throughout your movie, as it will certainly look a little bit weird when the colours alter significantly from round to the next.

Music/ Audio Impacts

Adding music and/or sound results to your film is a must! However, finding the best songs can be a rather tiresome procedure, however believe me it’s worth it. There are a variety of websites out there, both complimentary and also paid, that offer music that you can use in your movies. A couple of popular selections are:

YouTube Sound Collection


Purple-Planet. com.

All of the above mentioned internet sites offer royalty totally free songs that you can use in your drone films.

Similar to songs, sound effects are an additional way to add even more deepness to your movie. As an example, if you have actually got a shot on a coastline, include some sound results of waves crashing, or maybe the sound of seagulls.

Although a tiny touch, this can have a major impact on the overall feel of your movie.

Sharing Your Movie.

What’s the point of mosting likely to all that initiative of making an incredible drone movie if nobody is going to see it?


YouTube is by far among one of the most popular video sharing platforms and also is a terrific area to showcase your new movie. You can always begin a YouTube network and remain to post your new drone films as well as can also create a revenue with YouTube’s Partner System.


Vimeo is more of an expert basic video clip sharing website and also it is where most severe filmmakers go to submit their job. However, there’s a 500mb regular upload limit unless you pay for an annual membership, which is most likely why many people turn to YouTube.

Movie Festivals.

Over the past couple of years, we have actually seen a variety of drone specific movie celebrations pop up around the world. These are a fantastic means to both display your work as well as contrast on your own against a few of the very best on the planet. A few of the significant movie events are:.

New York City Drone Movie Event.

Drone Film Celebration Australia & New Zealand.

London Drone Film Celebration.

Madrid Drone Movie Festival.

Traveling Robot International Film Celebration.

What do Court Members Look for?

A drone film event will frequently have a panel of court members who are tasked with evaluating each specific film and choosing a winner for each and every category.

When evaluating, court members will seek movies that are shot and also modified to the highest requirement.

This includes the framing of the shots, the motion of the shots and the total cinematic quality of the movie.

Don’t stress massively about the high quality of your drones’ electronic camera, as long as it’s HD it will be fine. Personally, when judging a movie celebration, I search for how the drones’ video camera is made use of, instead of the quality of video camera itself.


Making an aerial movie with your drone is an incredibly fulfilling and also fun experience. Although it can be demanding at times, completion result is always worth it.

A fantastic film starts with a great plan, so make sure you’re as arranged as possible with your pre-production!


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